B-145196, MAY 10, 1961

B-145196: May 10, 1961

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M.D.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 7. YOU WERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM YOUR HOME TO SAN ANTONIO. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS NOT TO EXCEED 600 POUNDS WERE AUTHORIZED. SINCE YOU DID NOT WEIGH YOUR EFFECTS THEIR CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT FOR 118 CUBIC FEET AS SHOWN BY STANDARD FORM 117. YOU WERE ALLOWED ONLY A PRO RATA PORTION OF THE TRAILER RENTAL CHARGE. IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU SAY THAT THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF 826 POUNDS IS BASED ON AN OFF-HAND ESTIMATE MADE BY A CLERK IN THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE SOME WEEKS AFTER YOU HAD UNPACKED YOUR BELONGINGS.

B-145196, MAY 10, 1961

TO LOUIS R. ZAKO, M.D.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1961, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 22, 1960, WHICH ALLOWED ONLY $24.79 OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $32.50 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF RENTING A TRAILER TO TRANSPORT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN, TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAINING DUTY AS CAPTAIN, MC, UNITED STATES ARMY.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 187, DATED SEPTEMBER 19, 1960, YOU WERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM YOUR HOME TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, ON OCTOBER 12, 1960, AND REPORT TO BROOKS AIR FORCE BASE NOT LATER THAN OCTOBER 13, 1960, AS A STUDENT TO ATTEND THE PRIMARY COURSE IN AEROSPACE MEDICINE. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS NOT TO EXCEED 600 POUNDS WERE AUTHORIZED.

IN CARRYING OUT YOUR ORDERS YOU CHOSE TO HIRE A FOUR BY FIVE TRAILER AND TRANSPORT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION YOURSELF, AND YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.50, THE RENTAL CHARGE PAID BY YOU. SINCE YOU DID NOT WEIGH YOUR EFFECTS THEIR CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT FOR 118 CUBIC FEET AS SHOWN BY STANDARD FORM 117, INVENTORY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, FURNISHED WITH YOUR CLAIM. THE WEIGHT THUS ESTABLISHED, 826 POUNDS, EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCE, 600 POUNDS PLUS FIVE PERCENT FOR PACKING, OR 630 POUNDS, AND YOU WERE ALLOWED ONLY A PRO RATA PORTION OF THE TRAILER RENTAL CHARGE, 630/826 OF THE $32.50, OR $24.79. CHECK NO. 4,330,807, ISSUED JANUARY 13, 1961, TO YOU IN PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE HAS BEEN RETURNED BY YOU AS UNSATISFACTORY.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU SAY THAT THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF 826 POUNDS IS BASED ON AN OFF-HAND ESTIMATE MADE BY A CLERK IN THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE SOME WEEKS AFTER YOU HAD UNPACKED YOUR BELONGINGS. YOU ALSO ENCLOSED A COPY OF GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. A8477659 ON WHICH YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE RETURNED TO YOUR HOME BY WHICH YOU ATTEMPT TO SHOW THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS, EXCLUDING PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, WAS 669 POUNDS RATHER THAN 826 POUNDS, AS ESTIMATED. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING THE FULL COST OF THE TRAILER RENTAL REGARDLESS OF THE WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS ON THE BASIS THAT THIS AMOUNT IS LESS THAN THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD SHIPMENT BEEN MADE BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE,"WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COST OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION.' PARAGRAPH 8001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY PROVIDES THAT HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS WITHIN SPECIFIED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT. SUCH WEIGHTS ARE SET FORTH FOR THE VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR A PERCENTAGE INCREASE TO ALLOW FOR PACKING AND CRATING FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION USED. THE REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDE THAT WHERE SHIPMENTS INVOLVE WEIGHTS IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED ALLOWANCE THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SUCH EXCESS WEIGHTS WILL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAKE NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR REIMBURSING MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR THE RENTAL OF TRAILERS USED BY THEM TO TRANSPORT THEIR OWN EFFECTS.

UNDER THESE PROVISIONS OF LAW AND REGULATION YOU WERE AUTHORIZED UNDER YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS TO TRANSPORT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE 600 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCREASED IN YOUR CASE BY FIVE PERCENT FOR SHIPMENT BY VAN. THE FACT THAT PROVABLE EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU WERE LESS THAN THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BY ANY OTHER MEANS IS IMMATERIAL. THE MEASURE OF YOUR REIMBURSEMENT IS THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED AND SINCE EXCESS WEIGHT WAS INVOLVED YOU MUST BEAR A PRO RATA SHARE OF THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT. SINCE YOU DID NOT WEIGH THE GOODS WHICH YOU HAULED FROM ALLEN PARK TO SAN ANTONIO, THE WEIGHT MUST BE CONSTRUCTIVELY ESTABLISHED BY OTHER MEANS. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT IF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF A SHIPMENT IS UNOBTAINABLE THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT WILL BE DETERMINED BY CUBIC MEASUREMENT ON THE BASIS OF SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT. IN THE ABSENCE OF INVENTORIES COVERING THE SHIPMENTS WHICH MAY BE COMPARED, TO DETERMINE THAT SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME ITEMS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE INCLUDED IN BOTH SHIPMENTS, THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED FROM SAN ANTONIO TO YOUR HOME, ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN, BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED IN ESTABLISHING THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS INCLUDED IN YOUR TRAILER SHIPMENT. ACCORDINGLY, IT WAS PROPER TO ESTABLISH THE WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS BY CUBIC MEASUREMENT AND TO ALLOW ONLY THE GOVERNMENT'S SHARE BASED ON 630 POUNDS. SINCE, HOWEVER, THE CLOSED VAN TRAILER INTO WHICH YOU FITTED YOUR GOODS ONLY HAD A VOLUME OF 100 CUBIC FEET, THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF YOUR EFFECTS MUST BE ESTABLISHED AT 700 POUNDS RATHER THAN 826 POUNDS BASED ON THE TOTAL OF THE ESTIMATED CUBIC VOLUME OF EACH ITEM. YOU ARE THEREFORE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $29.25 ( 630/700 OF $32.50) AS THE GOVERNMENT'S PORTION OF THE TRAILER RENTAL AND A SUPPLEMENTAL SETTLEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $4.46 WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE. CHECK NO. 4,330,807 FOR $24.79, IS RETURNED AND MAY BE NEGOTIATED WITHOUT JEOPARDIZING YOUR RIGHT TO THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOUND DUE YOU.